Follow the beat of the drum

FEEL THE BEAT: The Djembe drums are played by the Unity Drummers every week.
FEEL THE BEAT: The Djembe drums are played by the Unity Drummers every week.

"I WAS attracted to the beat of the drums as I heard the rhythms while I was surfing.”

That is what led Cynthia Hoogstraten to her passion of drumming.

The Bundaberg woman wanted to share that passion with everyone else, so she formed a diverse group of people called the Unity Drummers.

"Unity Drummers was formed this year as a way to engage with the wider community and promote the benefits of drumming,” Ms Hoogstraten said.

"The group ranges in ages and are from diverse backgrounds who agree that not only drumming is enjoyable, but can also be therapeutic.”

Every Monday at Bargara SLSC at 7am the group play the Djembe Drums.

"It is such a primal sound and one can't help wanting to move to the beat of the music,” Ms Hoogstraten said.

According to the Bambara people of Mali, the Djembe drums translates to "everyone gather in peace and harmony”.

"I love the simplicity of playing,” Ms Hoogstraten said.

"The drums help to stimulate and exercise the brain.”

Research has shown that drumming helps decrease stress levels, helps with depression and decreases the risk factor of dementia.

Drum therapy is an ancient approach to promote healing and self impression by using rhythm.

The method has been used for thousands of years to create and maintain mental, physical and spiritual health.

Research reviews have found that drumming boosts the immune system, accelerates physical healing and releases emotional trauma and reintegration of yourself.

"On the last Thursday of each month at 10.30am, a few of us come together to TQ's café and we are happy to teach others, voluntarily,” Ms Hoogstraten said.

"Anybody can learn the drums, you can learn a single beat in the first lesson.”

The group also meet up at Bargara Beach once a month to drum under the full moon.

"The atmosphere is exhilarating,” Ms Hoogstraten said.

"In the future, I would love to see a few hundred people join in and play together.”

If you would like to learn more about the Djembe drums or join the group, contact Cynthia Hoogstraten on 4151 7507 or email

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